Back in 1906 the Boye company, maker of needles, shuttles, bobbins and all sorts of notions introduced their commodity case, which they provided to retailers to display their various wares.
This example probably dates to 1910 and was still wonderfully stocked with needles, a good number of shuttles, and a small number of extra bobbins for machines that, in many cases, have not been made for well over 100 years.
Each one of these tubes contains 3 needles and there are over 200 tubes in the bottom and top carousel.
The top is badly worn but originally had a transfer on top which listed makers and models, and all the retailer had to do was point the needle at the name and would then know what shuttle and needles a customer requires. I am in the process of having a transfer reproduced to restore the top, and to scale so that the reference marks line up.
Boye used their own numbering system and charts are available to cross reference these numbers to match specific makers, some of the needles in the case are quite rare, as many manufacturers used proprietary needles before things were standardized as they are today.
It will be quite a project to inspect all the contents… and make a list of needles.Follow us on Facebook